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Image: © Alan Cleaver

Work is good for you – if you do it just one day a week

New research has shown that while some employment is good for our mental health, the benefits flatline after eight hours of labour.

Imagine a world in which nobody worked for a living. Would you like to live in it? Because there’s a chance it could be coming. As technological advances mean robots can do ever-more of our jobs, some people think we could be heading towards a world without work.

Considering that our job is how most of us pay for our food and rent and the stuff we enjoy, that sounds rather nightmarish. But some people are saying that it’d actually be great, because we could take all the money/stuff created by machines and divvy it out among the population (perhaps in the form of a Universal Basic Income). Then we could just spend all our time enjoying ourselves.

But a new study by the University of Cambridge suggests that even if this occurred, the situation might not be as dreamy as it sounds. They looked at what happened when people moved from unemployment or stay-at-home parenting into paid work, and concluded that getting a job reduces our risk of mental health issues by 30 percent.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace a world where robots take on at least some of our workload. The study also found that the mental-health benefits kick in after eight hours of paid work a week, but don’t increase any more after that. Working the standard 40 hours a week, in other words, doesn’t make you any happier than working for just one-fifth of that time. We don’t know about you, but a six-day weekend sounds pretty good to us.

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Reader Comments

  • WhereAreTheVikings

    What a terrible, terrible shame. Western Civilization nurtured capitalism, and now capitalism is destroying it. And these young people seem to welcome the invasion of their homeland. The media and schools have been very efficient in wiping out all traces of blood and soil.

    • prollawalllynotahumanoid

      Capitalism isn’t the problem. It’s corrupt politicians taking bribes and kickbacks from Globalists and the Chinese.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        Maybe I should have said crony capitalism. Although Italians importing Chinese to make “Italian leather” shoes is not crony capitalism. It is capitalism, pure and simple.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          That would be crony capitalism and globalism combined. They aren’t concerned with the affect their policies have upon their citizens, the health and welfare of their society and culture or their economy. What it isn’t is fair-free trade to further national interests.

          • WhereAreTheVikings

            I’ve always seen them as one and the same, but perhaps they need to be named individually, just to bring home the point.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        But now that travel is so easy and borders are virtually down through H1bs and the like, theoretically you can’t blame capitalists for the pursuit of cheaper labor, although I do heartily blame them not being more patriotic than that. Perhaps the emerging nationalism will force them to voluntarily do what they should have morally been doing all along, and that is employing business practices that preserve their countries and nationalities. The government should be doing everything it can to encourage that, to the extent that small government should do anything but guard the borders and strictly, drastically, limit immigration.

      • Henry Lam

        It is China with its corrupted mindset affecting the world.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          No it is not. Capitalism is the fairest and least corrupt system of all.

          Socialism and communism is based on authoritarianism, coercion and police intimidation. It has and always will be rife with criminality, bribes and kickbacks.

          Corruption can be anywhere but it is the very basis of socialism and communism.

    • Henry Lam

      The government is too weak. They do not understand the mindset of communists and how they educate their people. Those communist people are only loyal to their country and could be dangerous. The immigration law should only accept those who accepted multiculturalism and taught from a democratic education system. This virus events clearly has shown how stupid to take China as a friend.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        The government is not too weak. Just weak-minded about some things.

  • Gabi Rodrigues

    For how many days can a country maximum close their borders to foreigners maximum? Like now, with the virus, everyone is using 30 days. Can it be more?